Dr. Jozef Venglos has already won the public relations battle during his short time in Japan.
Now he has a much tougher task: emulating the fine achievements of his predecessor as manager of JEF United Ichihara, Zdenko Verdenik.
Venglos, who turned 66 this month, has a wealth of experience at both club and country level.
He led the former Czechoslovakia into two World Cups, reaching the quarterfinals in Italia 90, and into two European Championships, winning the continental crown in Belgrade in 1976 with greats such as Zdenek Nehoda, Marian Masny and Antonin Panenka.
At club level, his teams in the 1990s included Aston Villa, Fenerbahce and Glasgow Celtic, and now he finds himself in the wilds of Chiba prefecture, north of Tokyo, and with one of the J.League's less fashionable teams.
But after only a few days in the job, the amiable Slovakian was holding court with a dozen media, reeling off the names and nicknames of the players at his disposal.
"I was studying the players before I came to Japan," admits Venglos.
"When I was offered the job late last year, I spoke to a few people, including the former JEF United player Ivan Hasek, who I know very well of course.
"Hasek said come; it's a good club with nice people.
"Once I had made my decision, I asked them to send over details of the squad, so I was quite familiar with the names when I started work."
JEF United (the major club sponsors are Japan East railways and Furukawa electric company) finished a highly creditable third place in the overall standings last season, behind only the J.League heavyweights Kashima Antlers and Jubilo Iwata, but then lost their Slovenian manager Verdenik to big-spending, under-achieving Nagoya Grampus Eight.
Enter Venglos, who had visited Japan as recently as last November to conduct an advanced coaching course run jointly by the Asian Football Confederation and UEFA.
"The team did very well last season, and I am the kind of coach who prefers continuity. I don't see the point of making changes just for the sake of it.
"In football the expectations are always high, and what I can promise is that I will work seriously and hard and in a professional way. I hope the team plays well, but it is difficult to predict where we can finish because it's a very even competition."
Although JEF have no current Japanese internationals, they still have two World Cup-bound players in Slovenian central defender Zeljko Milinovic and South Korean striker Choi Yong Soo.
This pair in particular will be in safe hands as the countdown continues to the big kick-off in Seoul on May 31.
"The World Cup is a big occasion for the players, the countries and the two co-hosts, and I know how players are feeling when they are coming to play league matches ahead of the World Cup," he adds.
"We have to find a good balance between training hard and playing hard for the club, and building up to the World Cup. The players must understand that their club football is good preparation for the national team."
Venglos's first test of the new J.League season will be at home to second division champions Kyoto Purple Sanga on Sunday.
And if his players are as relaxed and focused as he is, JEF can continue to establish themselves in the top half of the table after Verdenik's excellent work.